VW Eases Ahead Of Renault In Europe Electric Car Sales Race.
“PHEVs appeal to those still put off by the lack of electric infrastructure and the linked range-anxiety of pure EVs”
The good news for Volkswagen is that it overtook Renault in October to become the top selling battery electric vehicle maker in Western Europe for the first time, according to a report by Automotive Industry Data (AID).
The not so good news is that it only took 2,193 sales to win top spot in the month, and that the biggest market for electric cars is socialist Norway, where electric cars are boosted by a range of incentives which include monster tax breaks compared with gasoline and diesel cars, and special privileges like parking spaces in big cities and the use of bus lanes, according to British based pan-European newsletter AID.
This is really a baby step for VW, Europe’s biggest selling car maker, because it has a published a goal that 25% of its global sales will be battery electric by 2025. In the first 10 months of 2017, battery-only electric car sales hit 108,186 for a market share of 0.9%.
AID’s report also pointed out that in the race to electrification, plug-in hybrid vehicles are winning the race in Germany, Western Europe’s biggest market. Western Europe also includes big market s like Britain, France, Italy and Spain.
VW’s eGolf, the battery-only version of the big selling family car, led the way to top spot in October, helped by a smattering of little eUps. For the 10 months though Renault still led the way with sales of 25,313 mainly Zoes, Tesla was second with 19,223 Model Ss and Model Xs, followed by 15,964 BMW i3s. Nissan was 4th with 15,964 Leafs and Volkswagen was in 5th with 11,729. VW’s performance suggests it might be powering down the outside lane in a bid to take a permanent lead.
BMW’s i3 isn’t strictly a battery-only vehicle because it now has an option of a gasoline backup motor.
AID said electric car sales in Germany had been expected to be boosted by government cash incentives for buyers dumping old, higher polluting diesels, but it seems most of these deals are going to gasoline powered cars and SUVs. And those thinking electric are opting for plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). PHEV sales in the first 10 months in Germany more than doubled to 23,301 from 10,845 sold in the same period of 2016. AID said battery electric sales totalled 19,790 in 2017’s first 10 months.
“These latest German sales numbers are saying that today more of Germany’s early adopters are still drawn to PHEVs. These vehicles, also equipped with a conventional engine and a pure electric driving range of around (30 miles) likely appeal to those still put off by the lack of electric infrastructure and the linked range-anxiety of pure EVs,” AID said in its latest issue.
Germany offers an inventive of 4,000 euros for battery only vehicles and 3,000 euros for PHEVs.